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Necronomicon - Rise of the Elder Ones Review

by Matt Hensch

Necronomicon is one of many Necronomicons, I'm not sure which edition. "Rise of the Elder Ones" is the Canadian group's fourth full-length premonition into the black seas of infinity, and with song titles like "Dark Corners of the Earth" and "Rise of the Elder Ones," it's clear that they have a hankering for Lovecraftian lyrics and themes. The ten-song tribute to the ancient gods is fairly decent, but it falls into the herd's standards instead of rising above them. Necronomicon's style is betwixt and between the blast-laden brutality of Morbid Angel and Dimmu Borgir's symphonic-charged black metal serenades, and that's really all there is to say about the album, unfortunately. Listening to this makes me want to find my copy of that awesome Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth game and fry some fish in Innsmouth with lead, but not much else.

They remind me musically of Morbid Angel before its members started listening to "Goodbye Horses" and dancing naked in front of a mirror with their wangs tucked in, but with symphonic/orchestral elements that pop up occasionally. "Rise of the Elder Ones" pretty much offers a proper representation of death metal with a little twinge of some blackened elements, and it's overall fairly acceptable and intense. Necronomicon loves to use blast beats, blazing paces, and anything else missing from the stew of death metal. They change the vocals up a bit from time to time with narrative sections that contradict the basic growling grunts, and the band tosses in a mid-paced anomaly for a song or two as well, but typically "Rise of the Elder Ones" is a storm of sin, slaughter, speed.

A mix of things turn this shoggoth into a small puddle of slime that's easily scooped up via shovel and casually thrown out. The biggest problem is that it's entirely predictable and based stagnantly on standard death/black metal themes that are found everywhere, albeit superiorly. I really don't find any of the anthems to stick out or leave an impression on me, because they're just rooted in the same structure and preach identical musical traits without bringing anything to the table that colors up this body of grey, sterile death metal. The symphonic traces are enjoyable touches of outside colors that aren't too foreign within the group's presence, but they do not make the record fantastic. Making it so would require riffs that stick, percussion patterns that aren't limited to blast beats, vocals that hold the listener, songs with spines, whatever else Necronomicon is missing.

Maybe I'm being a bit too hard on "Rise of the Elder Ones," because it is, believe or not, a passable experience; there are worse things in the world. Although enjoyable in small increments, I find myself viewing this as an album meant for background music when someone at a crowded party demands some death metal, which is odd, because I have yet to attend such a gathering. "Rise of the Elder Ones" has the usual twists and turns of a rollercoaster that I've experienced a thousand times or more—it just doesn't do it for me. It's like stumbling upon Lovecraft's nameless city, only to find its mortifying race of reptilian monsters bickering about their favorite Kardashians and sporting Hoobastank merch. Disappointing? Yeah, a little.

Necronomicon - Rise of the Elder Ones


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